Manchester, NH mayor: moratorium on refugee resettlement NOW!

I’m posting the entire editorial today from the Manchester Union Leader because there is not one word in it that can be left out!  Hat tip: Jean (emphasis mine)

A moratorium on bringing refugee immigrants to Manchester is long overdue. And it needs to go hand-in-hand with a common-sense look at just what should be the city’s and state’s roles in accommodating the untold thousands of refugees who seek to come here, but who require taxpayer-funded assistance after they arrive.

Mayor Ted Gatsas is right on target in pointing the spotlight at the problems facing Manchester with its rapid immigrant influx. But this is not the first time city leaders have spoken of the problem. Let’s hope it is the last time they need to.

And this is not the first time that one of the organizations chiefly to blame — and we use that word precisely — for this growing problem has been identified as the “International Institute of New Hampshire.”

That’s a pretty high falutin’ name for an outfit that is in fact an arm of a New England group run out of Boston and not too keen on answering questions. Those questions include why the group has helped turn Manchester into the second-biggest refugee resettlement city in New England, as measured by refugees per 100,000 people. (Springfield, Mass., beats Manchester by a hair. Its count is 272 refugees per 100,000 people; Manchester is at 271 per 100,000.)

Why, too, does this “institute” do such a poor job of taking care of the financial and health needs of the refugees it aims to resettle? Instead, it leaves those burdens to Manchester’s public agencies, which are already strapped with heavy budget problems that are only going to get bigger.

About 300 refugees are due in Manchester in the current federal fiscal year. Another 300 are projected to arrive from Oct. 1 through the following year. This, in a word, is insane.

The burden is felt in schools, at public health, with police and other public agencies.

“I don’t think we should bring in people that are going to suffer because there are not enough resources for them,” said the Rev. Joseph R. Gurdak.

As pastor of St. Anne-St. Augustin Parish in Manchester and someone who works with the refugees, he doesn’t strike us as someone who is “anti-immigrant.”

Mayor Gatsas has sounded the alarm. But he is going to need the help of our congressional delegation, among others, if a moratorium and a much stricter quota thereafter are to be enacted.

The Mayor should get in touch with the folks in Tennessee!

We have written on many previous occasions about the problems in Manchester (here is an archive of posts in which we mention Manchester).

The mayor might like to know that the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the mothership (the federal contractor for which the International Institute of NH works), has New Hampshire cities among its Preferred communities, here.  Since USCRI makes it very difficult to track the funding of its subcontractors, here for your review instead is the 2009 Form 990 for USCRI.   (International Institute of NH got $495,660 from USCRI that year but does not appear to have a Form 990 of its own.)

So where is the public-private partnership?

USCRI (Total revenue page 9)  is a $23,313,479 a year operation with $22,875,403 of that coming from you—the taxpayer.  98+% of their funds come from the government leaving less than 2% of their funds that comes from private sources of revenue.  What happened to that Public-Private partnership?   I had to laugh when I visited their site, here, and see the pie chart showing that they use “your gifts wisely” with 93% of their expenses going to programs—wow—great of them to pass along almost all of your tax dollars (your gifts!) to “programs” (salaries, rent, travel, conferences, meetings etc. etc).

I’m too tired tonight to tell you more about USCRI.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about where they got the boot for NOT taking care of refugees properly.  And, maybe too about their revolving door with government.  Do you think there is any chance an USCRI affiliate will now be reprimanded when its former VP heads the whole Office of Refugee Resettlement in the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (the agency that doles out the bucks to the contractors)….Nah!!!